Mint isn’t just pleasant in a cup of tea. It’s highly medicinal, too. Even just the aroma rising from your mug can soothe an upset stomach and open sinuses before the cup even touches your lips. This variety of mint grows to 2 feet tall, with short-stalked, lance-shaped leaves that are bright green and serrated. Mentha spicata is also called hierbabuena or spearmint.
WHERE IT CAN BE FOUND:
Native to Europe, it now also grows in Southwest Asia, Mexico, Central America, and every US state except North Dakota
PROPERTIES AND USE:
Analgesic, antitumor, antifungal, antibacterial, antispasmodic, stimulant, insecticide, diuretic, decongestant, hepatoprotective, carminative, antiseptic, stomachic, febrifuge, tonic. Treats colds, bronchitis, sore throat, headache, sinusitis, nausea, morning sickness, motion sickness, sore muscles, sciatica, backache, irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion, cramps, halitosis, painful menstruation, bronchitis, rheumatism.
For all conditions, you may eat the leaves
raw. You can also make an infusion by pouring 1 cup boiling water over 1 small sprig of spearmint. For sinus congestion, place a towel over the head, and inhale the steam from the infusion. For headaches and sore muscles, apply spearmint oil directly on the affected area.
For halitosis, chew raw leaves, or use the infusion as a mouthwash.